Was Justice Venkataswami made a victim of political shenanigans (his second assignment, as chairman of the Authority for Advance Rulings, was formalised in May this year)? Was the Congress' outcry against his appointment in Parliament last fortnight used as a ruse to scuttle the probe, and then force his resignation? And finally, what forces were at work that left Venkataswami no option but to take the fall?
Three days after he put in his papers, Outlook spoke to a visibly upset Justice Venkataswami, but he refused to be drawn into the controversy. He had only this cryptic remark to offer: "I will not comment on these questions. It is for you (the press) to investigate." The commission's counsel, Gopal Subramaniam, termed Justice Venkataswami's exit "unfortunate".